American Express Identity Presentation Booklet

I’m pleased to present the rarely seen identity presentation booklet for American Express.

This 24-page volume walks the reader through Rand’s thought and design process for the revision and development of a new logo with clear and concise text.

Presentation booklets such as this are highly sought after and rarely sold. Jesse Kidwell has generously supplied the photos of his personal copy here for the education of all fans of Paul Rand’s work. Thank you, Jesse.



Cover

Don’t leave home without it…



Inside front cover (IFC), page 1

IFC:

Paul Rand
Weston, Connecticut
1994

Page 1:

American Express is a great name…



Pages 2-3

Page 2:

Blank

Page 3:

but the American Express logo does not reflect this greatness…
Its fifteen letters are difficult to manipulate and reproduce…
Its off-centered placement complicates connection with other words…
Elaborate letter forms are interesting but difficult to handle…

A well designed logo has something spirited about it…
The blue square lacks this quality…



Pages 4-5

Page 4:

Some of these shapes may be closer to the mark…

Page 5:

(Shape illustrations)



Pages 6-7

Page 6:

The rhombus stands out in a sea of squares…

Page 7:

(Shape illustrations)



Pages 8-9

Page 8:

A passive square is magically transformed into a lively rhombus…
It is related to the square; this insures continuity…
It is more interesting than the square, and more memorable…
It has a certain flair…
Increasing the size of the name and redrawing the letters help, but…
Some of the old problems remain…

Page 9:

(Logo)



Pages 10-11

Page 10:

The name is increased in size…
It is organized with the top of the square…
This helps to accommodate different nomenclature…
The letters are less formal and easier to read…
Reducing the size of the logo is no longer a problem…
Lower case letters present a more interesting word picture…
They are also livelier and more inviting…
But the problem of fifteen letters in a small space still exists…

Page 10:

(Logo)



Pages 12-13

Page 12:

Everybody knows what USA stands for…
The meaning of AmEx is equally unmistakable…
Abbreviations have a purpose…
They are functional, economical, and encourage efficiency…
The relationship between the four letters is fortuitous…
They have a visual presence, youthful, quick and sparkling…
They make a good word picture easy to read visually and verbally…
They can easily be combined with miscellaneous titles…

AmEx is the essence of “less is more.”

Page 13:

(Logo)



Pages 14-15

Page 14:

Perception of the Centurion:

A badge of strength…
Symbol of security and confidence…
Voice of authority…

Page 15:

(Centurion artwork)



Pages 16-17

Page 16:

Surveys reveal that the centurion is easier to recognize than the square…
Why not combine the two?
They can be of mutual benefit…
In tandem, they reinforce and explain each other…

In isolation, their common denominator is the rhombus…
It is the link between the two identifiers…

(Shape artwork)

Like the rhombus, the oval is an important part of the picture…

Page 17:

(Logo variations)



Pages 18-19

Page 18:

The Centurion, the Rhombus and Nomenclature:

Here are some practical typographic treatments…
Choice of type depends on need: emphasis, size, and printing…
Type styles presented are approximate…
Experience will fix the standard—a time consuming process…

Many different geometric confirgurations are possible…

Page 19:

(Logo examples)



Pages 20-21

Page 20:

Whichever of the three versions of the American Express Company logo is chosen, each is interchangeable within the matrix of the two oblique squares.

I believe that all are viable in that they establish a connection between the corporate name and the centurion. They also show how type and image can be logically combined.

Page 21:

(T-shirt design)



Pages 22-23

Page 22:

(T-shirt design)

Page 23:

(Letterhead design)



Pages 24- Inside Back Cover (IBC)

Don’t leave home without it…

(Card artwork)



Back Cover


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